News: A volunteer’s thoughts on “Copenhagen”

Despite being deeply involved in local communities, volunteers are often acutely aware of global concerns.  Frank Morgan, working with refugees on an education project on the Thai/Burma border, demonstrates his empathy for the people of low-lying Pacific nations.

Frank Morgan teaching
How lucky we are in this great country of ours, Christine.  But only those of us who have had the privilege to serve outside of Oz, truly know how fortunate we are.  As you point out, look at Kiribati.  What kind of future are these island folk looking at?

For those who have served there, it must be painful to reflect on their worsening plight.  Few people, I suspect, anticipated profound changes or even definite agreement (other than superficial ones) at the World Summit.  Sadly the hard decisions and genuine acknowledgement of the serious concerns raised are once again ignored or ‘postponed’ and another hugely expensive gathering of world ‘experts’, has delivered nothing… but then… what’s new?

Meanwhile, tiny NGO’s like Palms must continue to chip away at this indifference to those less fortunate, and in our own small way, try to help those we can.  It won’t change the world, per se, but it does make a difference to the few we serve.

– Frank Morgan, Thai/Burma border


The difference Frank Morgan is making “to the few we serve” is evident in the feedback Palms is receiving about his role in ACU’s Thai/Burma education project.

“As many of the students are engaged in or want to be engaged in grassroots development work with the refugee community, this is a popular course although they universally found one of the textbooks very difficult. Frank Morgan, the tutor, has been invaluable in explaining vocabulary and concepts to them and acting as the link to the lecturer. I was impressed by the improvement in English of some of the students and their ideas.”

“Despite all the difficulties, the students are enjoying the course and getting through it. In addition to their own efforts, that is largely due to the extra mile which lecturers take with this cohort of students and to the onsite tutor, Frank Morgan.”

– Duncan McLaren, Australian Catholic University, in a recent report on his visit to Burmese camps in Thailand.

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Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural.
It is man made and can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. - Nelson Mandela